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Physiother Res Int. 2004;9(1):1-12.

Goal-directed upper limb movements by children with and without DCD: a window into perceptuo-motor dysfunction?

Author information

1
Department of Physiotherapy, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD) occurs in at least 6% of school-aged children. Researchers agree that motor co-ordination problems evident in DCD are, in part, the result of perceptual and cognitive processes, but the limited research available remains inconclusive. The present study investigated perceptual-motor abilities, with regard to vision, kinaesthesia and cross-modal judgement, in children with and without DCD.

METHOD:

A cross-sectional study design was used. Nine children, aged six years (+/- six months) with DCD, and nine children without DCD, matched for age and gender, participated in the study. The children were required to point with the preferred hand to a target in three different positions under four sensory conditions, either with or without vision. Three-dimensional motion analysis was used to investigate trajectory lengths, endpoint error and movement time. The results were analysed using a generalized linear mixed model to examine the systematic effects of group, target position and task.

RESULTS:

Compared with children without DCD, the children with DCD produced larger endpoint errors, greater movement times and longer trajectories. Children in both groups produced larger endpoint errors, greater movement times and longer trajectories in non-visually guided aiming versus visually guided aiming tasks.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children with DCD moved more slowly, with longer movement trajectories and were less accurate than children without DCD when aiming to all target positions under all sensory conditions. The greatest error and trajectory length occurred for both groups when aiming movements were performed in the absence of vision. As children in the DCD group had difficulties with movement executed under kinaesthetic or visual control, the results indicate that the normal advantage of vision displayed by children without DCD is not apparent, and visual and kinaesthetic problems may be present in children with DCD.

PMID:
15132023
DOI:
10.1002/pri.295
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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